What Is Google Play Pass?
Since Google launched ‘Google Play Pass’ last September, it’s hardly created a buzz. 350+ apps and games for $1.99 per month for the first year and then $4.99 thereafter sounded like a great deal and was even the same price as Apple Arcade at launch. On top of that, there would be no ads and no in app purchases either. New games would be added each month as well. Most people you ask will say it’s just a few low quality games and is hardly worth the two bucks, but those people are wrong. They’re also not to blame.
Now, Play Pass has over 422 apps and games, many of which are premium gems that offer competition to the Apple Arcade selection. Games like Evoland 2, Stardew Valley, Monument Valley 1 and 2 and Reigns: Her Majesty are games you often see plastered all over its marketing images, but other games like Suzy Cube, Wayward Souls, Framed 1 and 2, Battle Chasers: Nightwar and more are hardly ever mentioned. I could mention at least 10-20 more amazing games, but I can’t. Why, you may ask?
The problem is that they’re very hard to find. The only comprehensive list to date can be found on Android Authority and even that is just a text list. Pictured below, Google does offer a Play Pass ‘discovery chip’ or filter on the Play Games app, but it’s basically just a part of their old ‘arcade’ feature, which is a long, scrolling wall of live video and screenshot tiles for relevant filter combinations. The wall of suggestions eventually ends and you’re left to wonder what the other few hundred games may be. I also realized while writing this that the Play Pass discovery filter just isn’t available for accounts that are not subscribed. This makes perfect sense and is the clean approach, but if they want to entice more people to use the service, then maybe showing it to everyone would be better.
There’s also a Play Pass section on the Play Store’s main navigation, but that’s also very selective in what it shows you. My favorite thing here is the ‘games categories’. I can get lost in exploring the awesome selection here and adding them to my wishlist for when I free up space on one of my devices, but then I fall asleep at night wondering if I still haven’t seen the full list of games. The categories available on mobile and on the web are also very inconsistent with one another and even inside of a category, the selection just cuts off after a bit of scrolling. Maybe that’s all there is. Maybe it’s like when I go to the grocery store and spend $200 only to walk out and realize that I only have five bags. I definitely spent a lot of money and I definitely got a lot of groceries, but I just can’t tell because they’re separated into bags and piled on to one another. That’s probably why I put everything on the counter top before putting it where it belongs – to feel slightly more accomplished.
A Few Suggestions
My suggestion would be to add an official, always up to date list in the Google Play Store and in the Play Games app. If this Play Pass section of the store is that list, then maybe I’ve just set my expectations improperly. I would also say that shuffling the suggestions on the store more often could go a long way to getting people to install a few new games. That’s why the grocery store rotates their products – to put less frequently purchased items at eye level so that you see them first. I mean, I get that Stardew Valley is a fantastic game and that it was made by one person, but I want to give the other little guys a chance to fit into my pocket as well.
In the meantime, we’ve got you covered. Each month, we’ll update you on what is being added to Play Pass so that you can grab your new games without an issue. For those of you who are subscribers, you’ll know that you receive a notification at the beginning of the month from the Play Store with the new content already, but for those of you who aren’t able to pay for the service yet or simply don’t have the interest at this time, these posts will continue to keep you informed and give you our thoughts as well so that you can decide when and if you want to take the plunge. For starters, here are your Play Pass games for May.
If you’re a Play Pass subscriber then please tell us in the comments below if you feel that it’s difficult to find new and interesting games within the service.